CHICAGO, Illinois — The World Bank estimates that 385 million children worldwide live in poverty, with an estimated 22,000 children dying daily, 3.1 million of whom are dying annually from a lack of nutritious food. Poverty stunts a child’s physical development and leads to multiple health problems. Poverty denies children opportunities, leading to a vicious cycle of socioeconomic immobility.
Many singers use their fame and status to advocate against child poverty and work with charities actively ending child poverty worldwide. Four of them are Shakira, Camila Cabello, Enrique Iglesias and Ricky Martin.
The world-famous singer Shakira is passionate about helping the most vulnerable in our society. She founded the Pies Descalzos (Barefoot) Foundation at age 18 to improve children’s education, health and nutrition in her home country of Colombia. In addition, the singer is a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador.
Pies Descalzos’s mission is to create equitable educational opportunities for Colombia’s children and collaborates with the “la Caixa” Bank Foundation to promote various social activities, including sports and personal development along with the help of The Barca Foundation.
In September 2019, Camila Cabello spoke at the Save the Children’s Gala in New York City, receiving the Voice Award. Moreover, the singer ended her speech by pledging to raise $250,000 for Save the Children’s various programs for refugees of conflict, those that aim at ending child poverty, children’s health and education.
Previously, Cabello visited a daycare in Puerto Rico supported by Save The Children along with her mother, which Hurricane Maria impacted. She engaged with the children by reading them stories and playing games with them. Furthermore, the CEO of Save the Children, Carolyn Miles, recounts in a statement how Cabello advocated for the work of the organization by using her strong social media presence to speak to her fans.
Enrique Iglesias is one of the most famous singers to come out from Spain, who has achieved hit songs and is another notable ambassador of the Save the Children organization. Iglesias was named a “changemaker for children” by the organization in 2019 due to his efforts of galvanizing his fans to donate more than $350,00 to the organization. This total includes more than $75,000 for the organization’s Healing and Education through the Arts programs (HEART) in Mexico. In addition, Iglesias partnered with Microsoft to donate $200,000 to literacy programs in elementary schools in El Salvador, Guatemala and Peru.
The renowned Latin singer Ricky Martin is passionate about helping children all around the world. The singer recounts a personal experience from 2002 in which he rescued three girls in India at risk of human trafficking. Thus, the Ricky Martin Foundation advocates for the education, health and safety of children who are victims of human trafficking.
In the continued pursuit of protecting children from human trafficking, Ricky joined the Global Mom’s Relay and called to protect all children for an essay about human trafficking in 2015. In 2018, he accepted a group of 12 to 17-year-old children to attend his concert in Budapest as part of the UNICEF’s Impressions program in Hungary, which aims to expose the children to various cultural and sporting events. Lastly, Martin contributed to The State of the World’s Children report in 2021, which focused for the first time on mental health.
Singers bring joy to fans’ lives with their music. However, some celebrities with their money and status do more by helping people other than themselves. By helping children across the globe through their advocacy or the creation of nonprofit organizations, these four singers are helping end child poverty by raising awareness of issues that affect low-income children and promoting organizations that fight child poverty worldwide.
– Andres Valencia